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Uncle Joe Has Targeted Medicare For Privatization. His Next Target? Your Social Security.

The past actions of a presidential appointee are a good indicator of the direction in which the president wants to go.

The past actions of a presidential appointee are a good indicator of the direction in which the president wants to go.

• Topics: Government, Business,

“Joe Biden has nominated right-wing think tank fellow Andrew Biggs to the Social Security Advisory Board. Biggs has spent his career advocating privatization and cuts to the program that provides retirement benefits for 66 million Americans.”

There are hundreds of millions of adults in the U.S. and Uncle Joe picks this guy. 

Inserting A Middleman Saves Money

So reports Matthew Cunningham-Cook in his Jacobin article entitled, “Joe Biden Has Picked a Longtime Social Security Privatizer to Oversee Social Security.”  The board has seven members. According to the board's website, only four positions are filled but two nominations are pending: one for Sharon Lewis, made by Biden last January; the most recent, for Biggs, was made in May. Neither has been confirmed as yet, as far as I have been able to determine. 

Perhaps this is another version of Uncle Joe's “reaching across the aisle,” but this is not Joe's first rodeo, nor is it mine. You can read the announcement of the pick on the SSAB web site. Joe blows more smoke than a 2-cycle engine while also making a lot of noise that mostly just irritates bystanders but over time can poison them. There is a difference between reaching across an existing aisle and actually creating that aisle by appointing the opposition, as if there aren't already enough putzes within the Dem's ranks to deal with, to wit, Joe Manchin.   

Take a “tour d'horizon” of Uncle Joe's 40-year record on Social Security. Prepare to gag. (Fact Check: Joe Biden Has Advocated Cutting Social Security for 40 Years.) Joe will tell you that Social Security adds to the deficit because he wants to cut it and serve the slices to his top-dollar supporters. Privatizing the program is one way of “cutting” it while transferring money to the Wall Street casino. In truth, there is almost $3 trillion in the Social Security Trust fund, and Social Security adds nothing to the deficit. So here's a terrible idea: let's turn Social Security into individualized, stock market/casino investment accounts. And let's make sure there are private contract investment managers to rake some off the top of every account for “managing” your Social Security.

See also here on Medicare privatization. 

Comments by Readers

Randy Petty

Jul 16, 2022

Some additional interesting information:


Dianne Foster

Jul 16, 2022

Thanks for posting this Jacobin article,  Dick.   I posted it multiple times on my FB page,  but don’t know how many actually read it.  I’ve followed Joe’s privatization schemes for years, and predicted this would happen.   I called the White House and wasn’t very nice.   I’ll do it again to oppose his policies,  along with his military spending to get us into a nuclear war.   After the Dems crushed Bernie,  they played to their corporate base.  I’ve been fighting this crap for most of my 76 years, and it just gets worse!  We need to revive Occupy, and get Jason Call elected.  Then get Biden to not run again in ‘24, which would give the Dems an exciting convention, and maybe some interest from young people.


Randy Petty

Jul 16, 2022

I think my main criticism of Biden is that he’s spent so many decades in a bipartisan world and can’t understand how it doesn’t exist anymore.  But if you really want to see the enemies of things like Medicare and social security or the welfare of average folks in general, elect more conservatives and libertarians and you’ll find out in short order.


Dianne Foster

Jul 16, 2022

Joe Biden is a conservative….  we don’t need more of that.   We need un-corporatists like Bernie.  Biden has been beholden to banking and military interests his whole life.   Which is why I voted for Gloria La Riva for President.


Randy Petty

Jul 17, 2022

The only thing that matters is enough non-conservative Senators since it’s obvious that without that, it almost doesn’t matter who is in the House or the White House. (with the Filibuster, you need 60 such Senators).  Biden certainly isn’t perfect, but I’m glad enough people held their nose and got somebody other than Trump elected—- despite what I have to consider throwaway votes for other candidates.

“Right now, the Senate is split evenly in half, but the 50 Democratic senators represent 41.5 million more people than the 50 Republican senators.     By 2040, if population trends continue, 70% of Americans will be represented by just 30 senators, and 30% of Americans by 70 senators.”


Dick Conoboy

Jul 17, 2022


“The only thing that matters is enough non-conservative Senators…”

That may be difficult to achieve but it is a pretty low bar after all that keeps everything on the edge, all the time. 


Randy Petty

Jul 17, 2022

Best of all would be to either neuter the senate or get rid of it entirely… England has done something similar with the House of Lords ... there’s just way too much power there and it’s way too easy to be dominated by a bunch of small red States.


Dick Conoboy

Jul 18, 2022


This is also much more than a discussion of the mechanics and process of the congress. It is about an understanding of how Social Security works.  You can’t discuss the program if you don’t understand it.  Most Americans have no idea so that when they hear of reform or amending the program they have little or no basis to make an informed judgement.  FICA is a system of CONTRIBUTIONS to a specific fund, Social Security.  The contributions must be invested in government securities.  But Soc Sec does not create these securities so the SS fund adds nothing to the deficit. 

“The trust funds are “off-budget” and treated separately in certain ways from other federal spending, and other trust funds of the federal government. From the U.S. Code:


Pub.L. 101–508, title XIII, Sec. 13301(a), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388-623, provided that: Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the receipts and disbursements of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund shall not be counted as new budget authority, outlays, receipts, or deficit or surplus for purposes of - (1) the budget of the United States Government as submitted by the President, (2) the congressional budget, or

(3) the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.”

Soc Sec is not made up from taxes but from contributions.  Politicians use the word TAX to scare people and confuse them.


Randy Petty

Jul 18, 2022

I’ve been on SS for several years.  And I’ve heard both sides of the arguments about the Federal government ‘borrowing’ from the SS trust fund.  Some say the Federal Government borrows by issuing “IOUs” that might not be honored.   Others say the Fed is basically borrowing by issuing “special” treasury bonds which is no different than  China buying such bonds and, in effect, loaning us money.  Any such buyer of US treasury bonds absolutely expects to be paid back.  
As far as raising the limit on how much personal income is subject to FICA taxes and other things like raising the eligibility age, cutting benefits or only cutting benefits on those not yet on the system etc , I think most if not all of those things are going to depend on who we elect.  Or who we inadvertently elect by voting for people with zero chance of winning office.

“Social Security’s Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program limits the amount of earnings subject to taxation for a given year. The same annual limit also applies when those earnings are used in a benefit computation. This limit changes each year with changes in the national average wage index. We call this annual limit the contribution and benefit base. This amount is also commonly referred to as the taxable maximum. For earnings in 2022, this base is $147,000.

The OASDI tax rate for wages paid in 2022 is set by statute at 6.2 percent for employees and employers, each. Thus, an individual with wages equal to or larger than $147,000 would contribute $9,114.00 to the OASDI program in 2022, and his or her employer would contribute the same amount. The OASDI tax rate for self-employment income in 2022 is 12.4 percent.”,for%20employees%20and%20employers%2C%20each.


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